Douro Eau de Portugal (1985)

Douro Eau de Portugal by Penhaligon's
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8.2 / 10     66 RatingsRatingsRatings
Douro Eau de Portugal is a popular perfume by Penhaligon's for men and was released in 1985. The scent is citrusy-fresh. It is still in production.

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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBasil, Bergamot, Lavender, Lime, Mandarin, Geranium, Lemon
Heart Notes Heart NotesLily-of-the-valley, Neroli
Base Notes Base NotesOakmoss, Labdanum, Musk, Sandalwood

Ratings

Scent

8.2 (66 Ratings)

Longevity

7.0 (52 Ratings)

Sillage

5.9 (55 Ratings)

Bottle

8.5 (60 Ratings)
Submitted by Andi136, last update on 14.08.2020.

Interesting Facts

The original version of the scent dates back to the year 1911.
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Reviews

8.5
Scent
6
Longevity
4
Sillage
FvSpee
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FvSpee
FvSpee
Top Review    28  
Neukölln 6: The British-Portuguese Friendship Perfume
Douro is not like Duro (from Nasomatto), the fragrance for hard men, named after the Italian and Spanish word for "hard", but after a river in the north of the Spanish peninsula. It is called Duero in Spanish and Douro in Portuguese and forms the border between the two states on a section of its course. In the Middle Ages it marked for centuries (along almost its entire length) the border between the Islamic Al-Andalus in the south and the Christian kingdoms, Asturias especially, in the north.

Douro is an Eau de Portugal (as it says on the label) and, as a co-parfumo explained to me, this is a special form of Eau de Cologne with a high percentage of oranges (or mandarins). Portugal from 4711 is one such, and many English fragrance companies carry or have carried such eaux. The fact that the Penhaligons decided to rename "Lords" to "Douro" when rebranding is very fitting and subtle in this respect.

Because traditionally, much connects England and Portugal, for example the English military aid for Portugal against Napoleon and the Portuguese military aid for England against Kaiser Wilhelm. But probably nothing connects the two nations as much as the port wine, a kind of national drink of the English, which is cellared in Portugal and whose grapes may be cultivated exclusively in the upper Douro valley, the wine-growing region Alto Douro (allegedly the oldest concretely defined and named wine-growing region in the world). It is said that the English port wine traditions go back to the 14th century, when the name port and also the wine growing region did not even exist.

In another sense, the name (and is also the designation as Eau de Portugal) is perhaps not quite as appropriate. Because this very beautiful fragrance has relatively little to do with an orange-laden cologne, i.e. a classic "EdPo". He is thus a little on the verge of this series, but he has its justification in it.

Douro starts - in this respect quite typical for colognes - with a fine citrus melange in which the mandarin is not so dominant. It is plausible that it is listed here on an equal footing with lime, lemon and bergamot; we have here a nice general citric in the best sense of the word, a blend so to speak. But from my point of view, especially at the beginning, the lavender is even more dominant, the Big Dipper in the starry sky above the Douro
Since this lavender-hesperide blend is also seasoned with a few spicy notes to match, the result is a light grey, finely fresh, somewhat understated finesse that is much more British than Iberian. This is more of a gentleman on southern journeys than a native Lusitanian.

If lavender continues, the fragrance then becomes soft next, almost meltingly soft, flowery-bloomy. It's not dandyish or effeminate, but it has something flattering and delicate, as if the gentleman forgets his stiff upper lip for a while and discovers his soft spot in the beauty of southern climes. The fragrance also becomes more orange in this phase, so I find Lily of the Valley and Neroli absolutely plausible for this phase (we are here about minute 30 to 60).

Afterwards, a very close, beautiful, noble, finely fresh finish that lingers for several hours, which is typical of the cologne, begins, which I no longer find citric. A good dose of oakmoss (or oakmossoxane or whatever you take today) is mixed with wood (I would have rather suspected cedar than sandalwood) and lavender, which seeps from the top note into the base.

Douro can be dosed generously, like a cologne, and is also happy to be plasticized. Applied too discreetly, it evaporates all too quickly and does not develop its effect.

All in all: this is complexity and sophistication that is only seemingly simple and plain, which is why this little water clearly stands out beyond the boundaries of a classic cologne. To reward this, I was inclined to give 9 points (which would be anything but absurd!), but since the fragrance, for all its beauty, does not trigger the feelings of infatuation associated with a 9 already, it gets stuck somewhere at 8.74.

Still a great scent!

Like Duro, by the way.
23 Replies
8.5
Scent
8
Longevity
6
Sillage
9
Bottle
Floyd
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Floyd
Floyd
Helpful Review    8  
Camden Market Hippie Shop
Colourfully dyed scarves and batik T-shirts in all imaginable colours hang on worn strings along the red brick walls. Through a narrow side street I escaped the terrible hustle and bustle at Camden Market, when an initially biting, somewhat indefinable smell rises to my nose. I follow the smell and squeeze my way through the narrow passage between old wooden stands with various fresh citrus fruits and spices (especially basil) that seem to sweat out their tart freshness in the midday heat.
After a while, it flushes me through the front door of a hippie shop, which I spotted by chance between the dense stands - or perhaps even erected. Close behind each other, as if on an endless row of clotheslines stretched on the ceiling, hang again huge coloured batik towels with unique patterns. But it's not the cloths themselves that cast a spell over me, it's their smell. With a good wine, its storage can be recognized by its smell and taste, with these cloths it seems to be similar. With my nose dipped into the towels I let myself drift through the shop with my eyes closed, always straight ahead, towel by towel. After the dyeing they were obviously washed with detergent and partly wrapped with Nag Champa incense sticks and various flower scented soaps, dark rose and lavender I think to recognize. A more precise identification of the other flowers and citrus fruits fails because of the ubiquitous Nag Champa chopsticks. Wonderful flashback, I think to myself, and I can't let my nose off the cloths for hours. Anyone who had a real hippie friend knows this smell, associates it with youthful impetuosity, squatted houses, summer in a VW bus or on the meadow of a festival, the moment when one smells her dreadlocks or sleeps in the tent on her knitted sweater at night, falls in love over both ears, of course. A fragrance with moderate sillage but amazing durability - in the clothes, hair and memory.
After more hours I think I perceive some resinous wood slowly diffusing through my gaps in my memory. I must have fallen asleep somewhere in a corner of the store, probably on an old English sandalwood bench.
When I find myself on the street some night, the scent still hangs in my clothes. Unconsciously I whistle an old motor psycho song, "I'm still wearing your smell", like before.
If I have to be a young hippie again for this scent. Nonsense, I also like to listen to the music of that time, I like to feel the memories. The old vintage bottle is a perfect match. Per summer flashback!
3 Replies
7
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle
Miaw2

339 Reviews
Miaw2
Miaw2
Helpful Review    3  
Douro by Penhaligon's
Douro opens with a huge lemon/lime note that recalls me of cleaning product.

The first notes disappears quickly, then joins the composition a nice lavender note, followed by a woody base with hints of spices and resins.

There is a powdery smell, actually a barbershop smell, which i find very pleasant. At the drydown Douro reminds me of Sartorial from the same house.

Douro is more a skin scent, smells refined for sure.

Sillage and projection are good. Lasting power is around 4/5 hours.
9
Scent
7.5
Longevity
5
Sillage
Greysolon

88 Reviews
Greysolon
Greysolon
Very helpful Review    8  
The necessity of tradition
I think it’s safe to say most of us join Parfumo to keep up with the latest fragrance trends. We devour reviews hoping to find a scent that will project the unique qualities of our character and personality. However, there are certain occasions that require the fragrance we wear, like our clothing, to conform to a sense of decorum or social code. For instance, as much as I like trying out new fragrances those scents frequently don’t match the formality of my work uniform. Several times a week my job requires that I dress in a conservative suit, a tuxedo or white tie and tails. Needless to say, the latest, edgy offering from Etat Libre d’Orange is likely to match that attire as well as a pair of Doc Martens. That’s why well crafted fragrances with strong roots in traditional perfumery are staples in my fragrance wardrobe. Penhaligon’s Douro fits that role perfectly.

I find that the classic masculine genres of aromatics and fougeres work well when a socially appropriate, dress up fragrance is required. I particularly enjoy fragrances that flirt with the borders of those genres such as Loewe Essentia or Dior Eau Sauvage. Michael Edwards classifies Douro as a citrus -as he does Eau Sauvage- and I understand why, but that term does not begin tell the whole story. To my nose, it's misleading to pigeonhole Douro in such a narrow range since the citrus notes not only lose their dominance, they eventually blend into the overall profile of the fragrance allowing it to develop characteristics of other genres. I’ve also come across sources that classify Douro as an aromatic. This fills gaps in the description although Douro eventually develops into a rich, well blended, lavender forward fragrance that can easily read to the nose as a fougere.

Now, don’t let the fougere description scare you off. Unfortunately, mediocre fougeres are ubiquitous so the genre gets a bad rap with an association to barbershop scents. This is not the case with Douro. It is somewhat redolent of Eau Sauvage so it has a depth that exudes an aura of tradition and propriety rather than reeking like a synthetic lavender chemical spill. Douro is a surprisingly complex scent that only masquerades as being straightforward and traditional.

I’m grateful to a fellow Parfumo-ist for sharing this sample of Douro with me. I see a bottle of this elegant fragrance in my future.
1 Replies

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